As educators, we can support the development of social-emotional learning in many different ways over the course of a day with students. Perspective-taking helps foster empathy. Kids that consider the other side, are better equipped to manage conflicts, be less judgmental and more supportive of others as they anticipate the other’s behavior or thinking. In the link below, Michele Borba shares 8 ways to teach perspective taking and stretch students’ empathy muscles. She also includes in her article how studies show that kids who understand others’ points of view acquire, “The Empathy Advantage”, a term she coins in her book Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in our All-About-Me World. Students with “The Empathy Advantage” are better adjusted, more popular, even have healthier peer relationships and have a huge employment edge in today’s global world. A favorite empathy activity included is to fill shoeboxes with ice-skates, slippers, army boots, heels, etc. and have students uncover a box and describe who might wear them or have them create a story imagining what it might be like to be in someone else’s shoes.
Wednesday, May 16, 2018